The real change for me was Hooper's claustrophobic, in-their-face close-up filming style for much of the singing, especially when married with the astoundingly gritty and shockingly authentic costume, scene and sound design. All of this collectively creates an anomalously affecting and nearly too-real atmosphere. It hit me in the gut. It reached the heart.
I dreamed that love would never die,
I dreamed that God would be forgiving . . .
So different from this hell I'm living,
So different now from what it seemed . . .
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed . . .
To touch my soul and teach me love?
He treated me like any other
He gave me his trust
He called me brother
My life he claims for God above
Can such things be?
For I had come to hate the world
This world that always hated me
He told me that I have a soul,
How does he know?
What spirit comes to move my life?
Is there another way to go?
And the night is closing in
And I stare into the void
To the whirlpool of my sin
I'll escape now from the world
From the world of Jean Valjean
Jean Valjean is nothing now
Another story must begin!
God has raised you out of darkness
I have bought your soul for God!
And those who follow the path of the righteous
Shall have their reward
And if they fall
As Lucifer fell
The sword . . .
On the doorway to paradise
That those who falter and those who fall
Must pay the price!